Heard at the Fordyce Forum

Hot topics of conversation around the hallways and over drinks at the Fordyce Forum include the rapid growth of the recruiting industry in China; the strong economy (more business than they can handle, people say); the challenges in finding good recruiters to hire; trouble finding customizable technology to manage both candidates and other contacts; the rudeness (people not returning calls and e-mails) of our society today; and the positive vibe/optimism of New Orleans.
 
Also, some notes from some of the speakers:
 
Alan Schonberg (MRI founder, now with Redmatch):
 
“I’ve never seen an array of speakers equal to this ? blockbuster … of any and all meetings of this type that I have ever seen.”

  

“Employers didn’t even dream of paying fees until the early- to mid-1960s.”

 

The early part of this decade was the “roughest recession that this industry has ever suffered.”

 

Believes there’s an “enormous talent shortage.” … “The employers need you more today than they have ever needed you in the future of our profession.”

 
On his success: “I didn’t have any vision — I just put one foot in front of the other.”
 
 
“This is the only time in history with all three generations that all need to be managed a different way.”
 
“We’re seeing retention rates dropping, retention rates are starting to drop all over the place.”
 
On a candidate who was offered a quarter-million-dollar signing bonus and rejected it when he was counteroffered: “That will start to become more common.”
 
On suggestions that the impending labor crisis is a catastrophe: “It’s going to be a great world, believe me. But it’s a changing world.”
 
There were 42,000 recruiting firms in 2000 and 17,000 by the end of 2003.
 
On companies that say they can’t pay above their salary range because other employees might find out and want a raise: “You gotta pay whatever it takes … if you got that A player out there …”
 
On selling a candidate to a company: “You don’t need resumes in this marketplace. What you need are achievements” (such as saying that someone increased revenue for a company).
 
“You have to be working with the hiring manager directly, not HR.”
 
On recruitment outsourcing: “…spent about a year going to India for our research and it was a miserable failure. There’s a disconnect between cultures. … they’re taught to say yes to anything.”
 
“LinkedIn’s one of the greatest networking tools in the world.”
 
 
“The 90s were about information. The 00s are about knowledge.”
 
On retained and contingency search: “The worlds are coming together hard and fast” — companies want some sort of hybrid or combination of the two, or, better yet, they want recruiting firms to decide what’s best for the client.
 
On Heidrick & Struggles, Futurestep, others: “They’re all trying to converge in what is our space …”
 
“Lose our electronic leashes and engage in activities … we’ve got this frenetic pace of technology … [excessive jumping from task to task] is like doing one bench every three minutes. That’s not the way you do ’em. You do them in sets.”
 
“A positive mental attitude … it’s what creates people, clients, and candidates to want to be in your life.”
 
“The question you need to ask yourself is, ‘what are you doing in order to grow?’ … my recommendation is to be an avid learner.”
 
 
“I’ve been in the business 21 years and I’ve been working at it the last 11.”
 
 
“I am absolutely driven by fear.”
 
 
“Good recruiters don’t make good managers, I’ve learned.”
 
“We have somebody at Pinnacle who works an hour and a half a day. She bills a half a million dollars a year.”
 
 
“Once you’ve got everything you want, what motivates you to continue working? More.”
 
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